Malta


 Why Malta?

  • An EU Member State where remote gaming is legally established and regulated through effective legislation, allowing industry operators the free movement of goods and services; 
  • A very attractive fiscal regime offering advantageous corporate and gaming tax rates;
  • Inexpensive licensing fees;
  • A well-regulated jurisdiction that safeguards the interests of both gaming operators and players;
  • High anti-money laundering standards;
  • A stable political and economic climate;
  • The presence of various established and well regulated financial services institutions and payment gateways;
  • An extensive network of double taxation treaties and other legislation providing relief from double taxation;
  • The possibility to advertise in the UK due to Malta being included in that country’s white list;
  • Availability of professionals and support services specialised in the gaming industry
  • A highly qualified and skilled workforce fluent in various languages;
  • A state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure;
  • A Seal of Approval issued to all licensees;
  • The existence of the Malta Remote Gaming Council consisting of licensees and service providers to facilitate liaison with the authorities on matters relevant to the remote gaming industry.

Licensing Requirements

Any person engaged in the carrying out of remote/online gaming activities in or from Malta must be licensed to do so by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority. In order to qualify for a licence, the applicant must: be a limited liability company registered in Malta; be fit and proper; indicate adequate business and technical ability to carry out such an operation; demonstrate that the operation is covered by sufficient reserves or securities and can ensure payment of player winnings and deposit returns.

Licensing Process

The application process to obtain a licence is divided into three stages and would normally take about eight to twelve weeks.

The first stage of the licensing process involves submission of an application for a remote gaming licence, a fit and proper test of the ultimate beneficial owners and directors and a detailed business plan of the proposed operation.

The second stage of the process involves the incorporation of a Maltese company and the submission of a detailed Operational Manual outlining the application architecture, the system architecture, the software developer, security and control procedures, back-up and disaster recovery procedures as well as certain statutory documentation.

After the second stage is successfully completed, a letter of intent is issued (a provisional licence) for a period of six months. The said letter of intent/provisional license may be renewed for a further three months upon payment of an extension fee. During the period throughout which the letter of intent is in force, the applicant should start its operation and obtain a certification of compliance for its remote gaming operation based on the standard ISO/IEC17799:2000. The letter of intent imposes certain obligations on the applicant, one of which is the appointment of a Key Official within twenty one days of issue of said letter of intent.

Licence Fees and Duration

Upon submission of an application for a remote gaming licence, a one-time application processing fee of €2,330 is payable to the Lotteries and Gaming Authority as well as a one-time certification audit fee of €2,750 payable to the same authority. Upon issue of the Remote Gaming licence and each year thereafter, an annual fee of €6,988.12 is payable to the Lotteries and Gaming Authority.

Licenses are issued for the duration of 5 years renewable for further periods of 5 years each.

Classes of Licenses

Applicants may choose to apply for any one of the following four classes of licences:

Class 1 – Operators who take a risk on repetitive games that are generated by random events (i.e. casino style games, lotteries, slots and skill games).

Class 2 – Operators managing their own risk on events based on matchbook (i.e. sports betting)

Class 3 – Operators who take commission for promoting and/or abetting gaming from Malta (i.e. P2P, poker networks, betting exchanges and game portals)

Class 4 – Gaming platforms that host and manage remote gaming operators. This class is intended for software vendors who wish to provide hosting and management facilities on their platform.

Taxation

The shareholders of the licensed company, whether physical or corporate, may avail themselves of the refundable tax credit system available under Maltese law. Furthermore, by virtue of the imputation tax system provided for under Maltese legislation, the shareholders are not subject to further tax on dividends received from the Company. The tax refunds will generally be equal to 6/7 of the total tax paid including any foreign tax suffered, or if the distributing company claims double taxation relief, the refund would be equivalent to 2/3 of the tax paid.

In certain circumstances, it may also be beneficial to interpose a Maltese holding company between the shareholders and the licensee, so that dividends and tax refunds are paid to such holding company instead of to the shareholders directly, thereby avoiding an immediate tax liability in the shareholders’ country of residence.

Such intermediate company can also be used as a vehicle for other investments.

The licensee may also avail itself of Malta’s extensive double tax treaty network, as well as other forms of double taxation relief.

In addition, the licensed company is exempt from transfer duties, exchange control restrictions and capital gains on transfer of shares.

Gaming Tax

Gaming Tax (which is capped at €466,000 per license) is calculated as follows:

Class 1 stand alone: €4,658.75 per month for the first six (6) months and €6988.12 per month thereafter.

Class 1 on Class 4: €1,164.68 per month payable to Class 4.

Class 2: 0.5% on the gross amount of bets accepted.

Class 3: 5% on Real Income (revenue from rake less bonus, commissions and payment processing fees).

Class 3 on 4 5% per month on Real Income payable to Class 4.

Class 4: No tax for the first six months, €2,329.37 per month for the next six months and €4,658.75 per month thereafter.

Key Official

Every licensee under the Remote Gaming Regulations (2004) must appoint a Key Official. The Key Official must be approved by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority which will carry out its due diligence to ensure that such person is fit and proper to hold such post. In addition to being a fit and proper person, the Key Official must be resident in Malta and a director of the licensed company registered in Malta. The main functions of the Key Official include to personally supervise the licensee’s operations and to ensure said licensee abides by all licence conditions and directives issued by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and to ascertain it is operating in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Maltese company

Prices   (€EUR)

INCORPORATION FEES

 

 

 

Formation of a Maltese company

1500

Price includes:

 

- Name search

 

- Name registration

 

- Company registration including Registry of Companies’ fees (250 euros)

 

- Articles of Corporation

 

- VAT registration

 

- Initial share capital (20% of 1250.00 euros = 250 euros)

 

 

 

OTHER SERVICES

 

 

 

Tax registration

 

Board resolutions

 

Opening of a bank account

 

Registered office for 1 year (location Xlendi)                      –         price for all of the above:

600

 

 

Accounting service (local MFSA and IRS compliance, tax return, annual return, accounts, auditing of accounts, VAT administration)

3400

Annual return only

230

Virtual office service for 1 year including mail forwarding, free domain name + 250 euros per year for fixed telephone line

399

Same day company registration fees (24 hour registration, documents forwarded after 2-3 days

450

1 year local registered office (Xlendi)

450

1 year local registered office (Victoria)

800

1 year registered office (Birzebuggia)

900

1 year registered office (Valletta)

2000

Business mail forwarding for 1 year

250

Malta business bank account (Maltese Limited)

150

Dissolution

200

Transfer of file/change of management company

350

Nominee shareholder

500

Nominee director

700

Company secretary

500